March 21, 2014
There will be hard bargaining next week as Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Republican Member Orrin Hatch work to reach agreement on a bi-partisan tax extenders bill to lay before the Finance Committee.
Finance Committee members will have an opportunity to offer amendments to the bi-partisan draft, known as “the mark,” at a formal mark-up when the full committee meets. Thus far, no meeting has been scheduled.
Are either of your senators on the Finance Committee? If so, they will have a voice on whether WOTC is extended for one year or two, and survives intact or is cut back.
Check the members list at www.finance.senate.gov., and contact your senator by letter faxed on your letterhead, followed by a phone call to 202-224-3121, ask to speak to the senator’s tax legislative assistant and say you are calling because you understand Senator Wyden and Senator Hatch are preparing a tax extenders bill and you want to know what the outlook is for getting a two-year extension of WOTC plus eligibility for 10 million older workers on food stamps and 7 million disconnected youth who are out of school and out of work.
If your senators aren’t on the Finance Committee, ask them to contact their leader on the Committee (Senator Wyden for Democrats, Senator Hatch for Republicans) with the message that WOTC has been demonstrated to be the most cost-effective Federal jobs program, with no significant cases of fraud or abuse over 18 years, and is vital to improve job opportunity for people with disabilities, veterans, disadvantaged youth, seniors in low-income households, and long-term unemployed workers receiving food stamps. These workers face a less-than-even chance of finding a job, as shown by their higher unemployment rates, and WOTC—at the maximum one-time cost of $1,560 for most workers—increases their opportunity of being hired.
Chairman Wyden and Senator Hatch must grapple with these key issues:
- Shall there be a one-year or two-year retroactive extension, or something in between?
- Shall any tax extender be eliminated or modified? (Senator Hatch has tabled a demand, on behalf of Senate Republicans, that each tax extender be “scrubbed” to save money by eliminating their least cost-effective provisions, and committee staffs have been swapping ideas on this issue for a month.)
- Shall the $48 billion cost for a one-year extension of all 55 extenders ($90 billion cost for a two-year extension) be paid for by revenue offsets in the bill? (A revenue offset is a provision to raise revenue or cut spending to help offset the cost of continuing the tax extenders.)
We again note the urgency and importance of reaching out to your senators at this time, as it’s critical for an extension of current-law WOTC to be in any Wyden-Hatch mark—any decision they make will be very hard to reverse in Committee.
We won’t be effective unless your senators agree to contact Senator Wyden or Senator Hatch to support a two-year extension of WOTC this coming week—writing your senators isn’t enough, there should be follow-up by phone call to the tax legislative assistants of both senators. If you are a resident of, or have operations in, a senator’s home state, the tax L.A. will take your call—so be persistent!
By the same token, contact only the senators of your state. If you have branches or clients in other states, have them contact the senators of their state with our message.
Many thanks for your cooperation in the campaign.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition